There’s a reason Apple’s designers strove to better
integrate Notifications
within its OS X Mavericks release. Business
professionals rely upon a wide variety of news, message, and information updates
from an even wider variety of sources. The OS X Notification Center collects email,
messages, appointments, reminders, and other elements and presents corresponding
alerts within the display’s upper-right corner, without interrupting the user when the updates arrive.

Notifications, and the manner in which they’re presented,
are easy to customize. Users can personalize alerts and tailor specific
settings by opening Notifications preferences from within OS X System
Preferences.

Do Not Disturb

The Do Not Disturb option is the first option that greets
users. From here, users can specify that Notifications not appear when the OS X system is mirrored to TVs and
projectors, during specific times, when specific FaceTime calls are received, or
when the display is sleeping.

Notification sorting

A drop-down box, found at the bottom of the Notifications
preferences screen, enables users to change the way Notifications are sorted. Notification
Center apps can be sorted manually or by time. When sorting manually, dragging
apps up and down within the Notification Center list changes the order in which
app alerts appear. When sorting by time, notifications become listed by the
time the alert is generated.

Alert styles

Users can individually customize alert styles for each app
that appears within the Notification Center. Selecting an app from within the In Notification Center prompts the app’s alert style options to appear in the
corresponding right-hand console. Users should note that clearing the Show in
Notification Center option from an app’s alert style relegates the app
to the Not In Notification Center section of the preferences menu. However, an app’s
alert styles can still be updated from within the Not In Notification Center
section.

Figure A

 

 

Once an
app is selected, alert style options appear within the right-side of the
screen.

Here are the three alert styles:

  • None. Selecting None causes no alerts to appear for that app. 
  • Banners. The
    Banners selection prompts the app to generate an alert that appears in the
    upper right corner of the screen, and it automatically disappears. 
  • Alerts. The Alerts
    option creates a notification that remains on the screen until it’s dismissed.

Several additional options exist for further fine-tuning an
individual app’s alert presentation.

  • Show notifications on lock screen. This option dictates
    whether the app’s alerts appear when the Mac display is locked. 
  • Show message preview setting. This is enabled when Show notifications on lock screen is selected, and it can be set
    to when unlocked or always.
  • Show in Notification Center. When this is selected, users can also
    choose how many recent alerts appear for that app. The provided drop box offers
    a choice of 1, 5, 10, or 20.
  • Badge app icon. This checkbox, when selected, determines
    whether the app’s total number of alerts appears as a superimposed number on
    the app’s corresponding Dock icon.
  • Play sound for notifications. Enabling this option triggers a default audio sound to play whenever
    a new alert for the app arrives.

Customization is the key

Notifications, on first glance, might appear like just a
convenient method of tracking new messages, emails, business news, and calendar
reminders, but the feature actually possesses incredible power. Taking a few
moments to customize specific settings for critical apps can quickly turn the
feature into a powerful, time-saving, and empowering business tool.

Do you make the most use of Apple Notifications? Let us know how Notifications help you do your job faster, easier, and better in the discussion thread below.